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This just started today...Frida just came to live with us 6 days ago and she has been so sweet and relatively mellow (she's a pug, 12-weeks) but today has been out of control with the kids. I have a 7, 6 and 3 year old; she literally cannot be around the 3-year old without nipping at his ankles, biting his pant legs, etc. My kids are not hyper and are trying to play quietly with her but she won't stop biting and acting wild. Why is this happening all of a sudden and what can we do to help her understand it's not okay?
 

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There are a couple things you can do... and I am sure others can suggest more.

I used the bite... It's one of the things I use from Cesar... just my hands, use the fingers and poke the pup in the rump with them... as in a bite... but not painful. when the puppy stops and looks at me I say no, no bite. This worked for our Wheaten REALLY well....

You can also use a spray bottle with water.

It's a poor form puppy behavior that just needs to be worked on. Trust me... when we got our Wheaten he did that HORRIBLY to the kids... they didn't even want to be in the same room with him. Now he doesn't do it.
 

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Please do not do either method suggested above. They're not necessary,and are unnecessarily harsh, particularly when you remember that your puppy is an infant. Check out the sticky titled "The Bite Stops Here". It works, and it doesn't rely on frightening or hurting your puppy. I used it very successfully with my Pug when he was a pup.
 

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I agree with Kuma's Mom. Don't do the "bite" or spray bottle. Biting and nipping is completely normal for puppies. It's how they play. As a mom, you know how kids learn and play by sticking absolutely ANYTHING in their mouthes, right? :) Well, biting and nipping is the puppy form of this.

BUT, even though it's normal, you still want to teach him bite inhibition. The thing is, what he's doing isn't naughty, it's just a normal activity that you don't want to continue. So, don't treat it as if it's punishment, just that you are trying to teach him a better way.

The sticky "The Bite Stops Here" is great! Check it out. Every puppy is different, so how long it will take will depend. With our first little guy, it took 4 weeks. With our second girl, it took 2 weeks. The thing is, lots of people get frustrated if it doesn't seem to be working right away, so they give up and try a different method. The problem with that is, they're giving up before it has a chance to work, and then moving on to something different, and that's just confusing to the puppy.

We followed the sticky, but adapted it a bit. Here's what works with many:
- when the puppy bites or nips, make a yelping noise or say ouch loudly but not angrily.
- the puppy will probably do it again, right away, so make the noise again, but also leave the room for 20-30 seconds. If you leave for longer than that, the puppy will get bored and find something to do while you're gone, and forget why you left, so the connection is lost.
- after 20-30 seconds, come back and start over.

You will probably have to do this over and over and over and over and, well you get the point. You aren't just trying to get him to stop, you're trying to TEACH him something. It's not just a deterrent, you're trying to get him to learn that, when he nips or bites, all human contact ends.

Since you have 3 kids, it might work better for you to put the puppy in another room, instead of you (or the kids) leaving the room. Put the puppy in a room where he can't get into trouble, but only for the 20-30 seconds.

The most important thing is to be super consistent and have everyone in the house do the same exact thing. Also, kids do seem like more fun to puppies, because they are usually louder than grown ups, and speak in a higher pitch, and move more quickly, in what seems like play mode. So, if you could work on your kids as well as the puppy, and let them know they should be still and not squeal or run away when the puppy nips, that would help! If your kids react that way, it can make it seem even more like a game to the puppy.

It's also good to have a kid safe zone. You can do this by using an ex-pen to keep the puppy in, in the living area. That way, the puppy is out and about with the family, in the same room, but, he can't bite and nip the kids. Or, you can tether him to you with a leash, or tether him to a heavy, stationary piece of furniture. This just makes it a bit easier to keep kids and puppy separated a bit without confining the puppy in lockup! :)
 

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Great advice, thanks! I totally missed that sticky -- will check it out. I think moving the puppy to her own space will be easier, then having us all move. It's interesting, but she really goes for my youngest; it's like she can't be around him without biting on his pjs. He giggles and then screams and goes generally nuts, so that is DEFINITELY something we need to work on!
 

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I am just letting you know what worked for me. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old... when I got my terrier he was 3.5 months old and a HORRIBLE biter with many aggression issues. You don't have to agree with me, but I am not a bad dog owner and it worked for US... we're able to work out a lot of aggression issues in our situation through the help of that and counter-aggression techniques learned from vets and behaviorists off you tube videos... using treats.

I cannot have a biter either. When you're kids are screaming in pain every 5 minutes all day long because they're getting bit so hard it's nearly drawing blood... you do what you've gotta do :)
 

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I am having a similar problem with our 6-month-old shih-tzu/yorkie mix, Ziggy. We have happened upon a rather novel way to deal with it. We were reading about attaching a lead to the collar when puppy is indoors to use as corrective action. While looking around for an acceptable lead, we came upon the lightweight chain our son used with a pair of pants at one time. It is approx. 2' in length, has a snap end just like a regular leash, light enough that it doesn't drag excessively on Ziggy's neck, but has enough added weight that it has curbed his behaviors. We are only using it when we are in the room with him, otherwise it comes off. So far so good - he has stopped jumping, nipping, and stays off the furniture.

When these new, good behaviors have been firmly established, we will see how well he does without it.
 

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I am just letting you know what worked for me. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old... when I got my terrier he was 3.5 months old and a HORRIBLE biter with many aggression issues. You don't have to agree with me, but I am not a bad dog owner and it worked for US... we're able to work out a lot of aggression issues in our situation through the help of that and counter-aggression techniques learned from vets and behaviorists off you tube videos... using treats.

I cannot have a biter either. When you're kids are screaming in pain every 5 minutes all day long because they're getting bit so hard it's nearly drawing blood... you do what you've gotta do :)
I'm glad it worked for you. No one said you were a bad owner. The thing is, both techniques you mentioned involved aversives. And, the OP is talking about a 12 week old pup that they've had for 6 days. In that situation, my opinion is, you don't need to use aversives for a 12 week old, basically an infant, that you've had a week when there are other options.

And, there are other options that can teach the puppy bite inhibition and keep the kids safe. If none of them work, then it's back to the drawing board.
 
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